Food Recalls - How Seriously Do You Take Them?


For the last few weeks, every time we’ve gone into the grocery store my son has asked me to get him cantaloupe. And even though I know that the cantaloupe available in our store is safe, I can’t bring myself to buy it.

In case you live under a rock and haven’t heard, there was a major cantaloupe recall recently due to a deadly Listeria contamination. Only cantaloupes from a specific farm in Colorado were found to be contaminated and subsequently recalled, but the daily updates of illnesses and deaths due to Listeria have had me on guard and nervous. According to the CDC, as of October 18th, 25 deaths had been reported, along with one stillborn baby, and 123 people had been sickened.

From Cantaloupe.

Today, I read about new recalls for bagged salads and organic eggs. And while I logically understand that there is a very small risk of illness from eating cantaloupe, bagged salad or eggs that weren’t recalled, I still find myself shying away from those products at the grocery store. Because while the risk may be very small, there is in fact, still a risk. And it’s a risk I am not willing to take. Especially after reading this article from Food Safety News where they drive home the point that while the FDA has gone to the trouble to recall contaminated foods, in this case cantaloupes, they aren’t releasing information about where the recalled melons were sold, and retailers are remaining silent about the source of their produce.

There are far too many unknowns.

And while I realize that putting my children in a car every day is taking a bit of a risk, it is both a necessary evil and, if something were to happen, would be an accident. I can control my children’s consumption of possibly contaminated foods. So I am going to continue to be careful about what we purchase to eat.

Where do you stand on the subject? Do you buy “safe” foods that have been recalled? And if not, how long do you wait before you start to purchase those foods again?

Photo Source: Wiennat via Flickr